A four-year-old girl was raped by a man and abandoned in a sugarcane field in Madhya Pradesh's Khandwa district, police said on Tuesday.
The child, who was found unconscious in the bushes on the field on Monday, is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Indore, an official said.
The incident came to light when the girl was reported missing from her relative's house in Jaswadi on Monday morning, superintendent of police (SP) Vivek Singh said.
The police were informed and a search was launched for the missing girl, he said.
During the probe, the police zeroed in on a 25-year-old man working at an eatery in the locality. The man had allegedly approached the victim's family on Sunday night to borrow a cot, the official said.
On interrogation, the man admitted to have taken the girl to a field and raped her. Based on the information, the missing child was found unconscious at the field, he said.
The girl was initially taken to the district hospital, but later shifted to Indore for treatment, the official said.
The accused allegedly abducted the girl while she was sleeping, took her to the field where he raped her and later threw her in the bushes, he said.
The police had initially registered a case under section 363 (kidnapping) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and later added section 376 (rape) and relevant provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the official said.
While the accused has also claimed the involvement of another person in the crime, the same is not confirmed and the police are investigating the claim, he said.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has directed Indore's Divisional Commissioner Pawan Sharma and Indore zone's Inspector General Rakesh Gupta to take strict action against the accused and ensure best medical treatment to the girl.
The two senior officials then visited the private hospital in Indore where the girl is undergoing treatment, and spoke to the family members and doctors.
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